Consider this job description on LinkedIn:
Pre-IPO startup looking for a marketer with experience in advertising, trade shows, long-cycle product management, public and analyst relations and big-budget campaigns. Must be able to create 18-to-24-month marketing plans and adhere to them rigidly. Experience managing a creative team of marketers and Madison avenue agencies. Must be able to present in front of management team on metrics to include reach, brand value, amount of marketing activity and hits in conventional media.
Well, first of all, it doesn't exist. And it will never exist again. It's a relic, a souvenir of an era that is coughing and sputtering its final breaths. This job description embodies the closed, herarchical, company is in control of the buyer's process that was so prevalanet in industrial marketing during most of last century.
What else do you notice?
It's probably the job description of someone you know, someone who went to a top-tier school, got a great education, maybe lives in a great house with Italian marble entryways and sub zero refrigerator. Someone who is great at Scrabble and likes to golf. Someone whose educational background has left them as unprepared for the new world of marketing as a bicyclist at the Daytona 500. Someone who will soon be fired.
If you want to ensure a short-lived career at a company as a B2B marketer, limit yourself to only those skills you learned in business school years ago.
Today's marketing leaders must have a diverse set of skills, perhaps more diverse than anyone on the executive management team. The ideal CMO has the analytical mind of Galileo, the creativity of Picasso, the leadership skills of Ghandi, the foresight of Nostradamus, the design sense of Steve Jobs, the communication skills of Franklin Roosevelt and the patience of Mother Theresa.
Modern marketing automation solutions have democratized the availability of the tools necessary to tie the jumble and pace of marketing activities to real revenue results for business. The way to not get fired is not to buy a piece of marketing automation. It's to become a better marketer and contribute to real revenue growth.
Lauren Carlson over at the Software Advice blog wrote an interesting article last week about the skills gap in most marketing organizations. She spoke with Carlos Hidalgo, who started the Marketing Automation Institute (I'm an advisory board member) earlier this year to help address that gap. My partner and I also started DemandCon in order to spread best practices in the world of demand generation to the marketing world in general.
And there's evidence that the battleship of marketing is slowly adjusting its course towards a brighter future. Consider these other promising signs:
- The average CMO tenure is up to 42 months, a huge increase over five years ago, when it was less than two years.
- There's a tremendous amount of capital flowing into the marketing automation market now, indicating that investors see this as a huge area for growth in the coming decade.
- Sales is coming around to the idea that they are no longer in control of the sales cycle. The buyer is. And that requires good sales people to work closely with marketing to stay close to customer's needs and intents.
Now is a great time to become a demand generation marketer. See this article over at the Post-Click Marketing Blog which gives some advice on how to succeed as a marketing professional.